Julio Jones is always a costly receiving option. In the past seven weeks though, he has underperformed based on his expensive price point. Three catches for 79 yards against the Saints was fine, I guess. Six catches for 91 last week would have been awesome for a DFS WR3 option. But for Julio, this just doesn’t cut it for me.
This is exactly the reason why I hope he doesn’t get taken by the other CLUELESS daily fantasy players that don’t read my almighty advice before each Sunday. Those same people that didn’t read my advice on the Josh Allen-John Brown stack, or Zeke’s bounce-back performance, or Kyle Rudolph’s minimally-priced game last week. Sigh. Some people will never learn.
Here are the top value picks, alongside Julio, for DFS this week.
Matt Ryan ($6,700/$7,900)
Ahhhh, the Buccaneers. The best way to keep a scoreboard operator busy (is that even a role anymore?) is to play a nice game of football against Tampa Bay. The surging Falcons will pour on the points, and they’ll have to, because the Bucs also put up a lot. Part of the reason that the Bucs allow the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks is because of their defense, but it’s more so that the turnovers Winston creates provide more opportunities for the opposing offense, and the simultaneous high scoring output from the Jameis-led offense means that opponents will throw the ball frequently, too. Just be wary of his popularity come draft day. He’s a safe pick and will likely produce well, but could be owned in a very high percentage of leagues at the position.
Sam Darnold ($5,800/$7,400 – more worth it on DraftKings)
October ended and so did the ghosts that were inhibiting Darnold’s ability to play a solid game. Two straight games of 20+ fantasy points, including a four-touchdown effort last weekend, have increased Darnold’s price a pretty good amount on FanDuel, but he’s still among the cheaper options on DraftKings. It may not be right that he’s priced more highly than guys like Week 12 opponent Derek Carr on FanDuel, but they’re catching on to the fact that Darnold has good weapons and a good game script in most contests that require a heavy pass attack. The Jets have a chance to pull off a home upset against Oakland this week, and it will largely be on the back of Darnold if they do.
Miles Sanders ($5,000/$5,600)
The Eagles are without Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor (perhaps thankfully for the latter). They’re also without their primary running back, Jordan Howard, and their change of pace, Darren Sproles. Unlike last week, this game should see Doug Pederson run the ball at a much higher rate (see: loss to KC in 2017, followed by win against NYG), but what really excites about Sanders is his ability as a pass catcher. Outside of the tight ends, he’s the most likely target for Wentz, and he’s by far the most likely to break one for a long gain.
Derrick Henry ($6,900/$8,400)
There is a big discrepancy in the ranking for Henry between the two websites this week. FanDuel has him as its second-most expensive RB, whereas DraftKings has him outside the top 10. In both, but especially in DraftKings, Henry is worth the buy this week. If the Titans want to beat this Jaguars team, they’ll have to lean on Henry. Tannehill has been good, but the offensive-defensive line battle will present a problem as Jacksonville’s pass rush could prove too much for Tennessee to handle. Henry, on the other hand, has seen a lot of success against the Jaguars in recent history: he wasn’t great earlier in the year, but he rumbled for a historic 238 yards and 4 touchdowns toward the end of the season last year. In a backfield that’s all his, Henry will take on a Jaguars defense that allows over 150 total yards and a score per game to opposing RBs.
Julio Jones ($8,000/$8,400/It doesn’t matter, it could be $20,000)
Would you believe me if I told you that Matt Ryan threw for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns last year against the Bucs last season? Seems like a pretty decent stat line. But no… that was Julio’s individual stat line. Julio feasts on Tampa Bay: in 15 career games, he’s gone over 100 in 10 of them. Now, in his first opportunity to play against the Bucs this year, Jones enters the season series at a time when the Falcons are rolling, and he should have no problem hitting that 100-yard mark again. Heck, maybe 200. Or 250. You’ve gotta go after Julio this week.
Tyrell Williams ($5,900/$6,400)
Time for that part of the article where I say something along the lines of, “The Jets are absolutely putrid against opposing teams’ WR1s, and so you should start (insert WR1 here) in your lineups this week to take advantage.” Carr and Williams have undoubtedly developed a good rapport throughout the season, and this week may be an explosive one should the game script go the way I think it will, with both sides putting up good scoring totals.
Other options: DK Metcalf ($6,300/$6,700); Jamison Crowder ($6,200/$6,500)
George Kittle if healthy ($6,300/$7,000)
I’m hoping that the injury designation sticks around for awhile on Kittle before they finally let him play. I do think he’s on pace to play this week, and the 49ers will immediately plug him into their game plan against a threatening future playoff opponent, but that injury designation and the fact that he’s missed some time could dissuade enough team builders to stray away from the 49ers star. He’s not that expensive if he does suit up in full and has a good chance to replicate the most recent pair of performances in which he showed good chemistry with Jimmy G.
Other options: Zach Ertz ($6,000/$6,100)
Bengals Defense/Special Teams ($2,100/$3,800)
I must be joking, right? Wrong. The Bengals don’t have a good defense. But the Steelers offense is that bad. No Conner, no Smith-Schuster, and there are still more missing pieces of this Steelers offense. Again, the Bengals are not great, and they probably won’t even win this game. But the point total is so low and I’m still taking the under. I’d be surprised if either team hits 17 points, and some turnovers sprinkled in there somewhere equals a good fantasy day for the Bengals based on their insanely cheap value.